J-2 Dependent Employment

Dependents in J-2 status may request employment authorization from USCIS.  Income from the J-2’s employment may be used to support the family’s customary recreational and cultural activities and related travel, among other things.  Employment will not be authorized to support the J-1.  Employment may be authorized up to twelve months and may be renewed annually.  

The application for employment authorization may take up to 90 days for processing and approval.  The card will have an expiration date, and may be renewed annually. During the period of authorized employment the J-2 may accept any kind of employment, full-time or part-time. The J-2’s employment authorization is valid only while the J-1 is maintaining status. 

The following items are required for application: 

  1. Form G-1145 
  2. Form I-765Eligibility category is (c) (5)  
  3. Filing Feechecks/money orders made payable to US Department of Homeland Security. You may use a credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transaction
  4. Letter explaining why work authorization is sought, written by J-2 applicant; the letter should state that employment is not necessary to support the J-1
  5. 2 new passport style photographs, in color, with I-94 and full name written on back
  6. Copy of J-2's valid passport page
  7. Copy of J-2's visa
  8. Copy of J-2’s I-94 record (https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home)
  9. Copy of J-2’s driver’s license or other photo identification, if available
  10. Copy of the J-2’s and J-1’s current and prior DS-2019 forms
  11. Copies of any EAD cards issued previously to the J-2
  12. Marriage certificate or birth certificate (based on relationship to J-1); foreign documents must be translated into English